Jesus taught us by His example the importance of going to church. “So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read” (Luke 4:16). Christ was in the habit of attending the regular synagogue services on the Sabbath day. And He went where people were assembling in the synagogues of Judea and Galilee, to teach them (Matt. 4:23; 12:9; 13:54; Mark 1:21; 6:2; John 18:20; etc.; Luke 4:15), even as Paul later did in foreign lands (Acts 13:14, 15, 42).
As for the early church believers, the Bible states, “Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them… So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved” (Acts 2:41,46, 47).
It might be thought that the early Christians because of persecution would avoid the temple. On the contrary, they were actually gathering into the temple even before the day of Pentecost (Luke 24:53). The early Christians worshiped in the temple, but the particular features of their communal life, the breaking of bread and the sharing of their food with one another took place in one another’s homes.
The Scriptures are very clear. The Lord calls the believers into one body, which is the church, and we enter it by baptism. After birth, a baby must be placed in a family for nurturing, protection, and growth. “Ye are called in one body” (Colossians 3:15); “He is the head of the body, the church…” (Colossians 1:18); “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body” (1 Corinthians 12:13).
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In His service,
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